NewsRussia arrests artists ahead of election, silencing opposition voices

Russia arrests artists ahead of election, silencing opposition voices

In Russia, the detention of artists opposed to the Kremlin has begun.
In Russia, the detention of artists opposed to the Kremlin has begun.
Images source: © Licensor
1:16 PM EDT, March 12, 2024

The Federal Security Service (FSB) and other security agencies executed these arrests in Moscow. Those detained include Olga Pachtusova of the Pussy Riot music group, street artist Ilya Mozgoy from Yekaterinburg, and Artem Filatov, an artist based in Nizhny Novgorod.

A search was conducted at the apartment of Katrin Nenasheva, a prominent opposition activist still living in Russia. The home of Margarita Konovalova, another Pussy Riot member, was also searched, as reported by "Możem Objasnit."

Independent media links these early morning operations by security services directly to the forthcoming presidential elections amid concerns that artists could stage protests or other actions against President Vladimir Putin this weekend.

Sources speaking with "Możem Objasnit" noted that on Tuesday, only those who had previously expressed their political views publicly were targeted.
"They arrest their own shadows"

"This is a tactic to intimidate. I keep hearing about more arrests; it's a wide-scale operation. In Russia, nearly no activists are left unarrested, including Nenasheva," said Slava PTRK, an opposition street artist using a pseudonym. Police officers aren't art connoisseurs. They detain anyone just to be safe—they're arresting shadows out of fear," added another artist known as Philippenzo.

The presidential election in Russia is slated for March 15-17. Experts predict the vote will essentially serve as a referendum, with Putin almost guaranteed to win. Historical data shows the President has previously won early rounds with 70-80% of the vote and is expected to do so again.

Source: PAP
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